Isaac forces Saints to make emergency plans


Drew Brees and the Saints are preparing to leave New Orleans ahead of Tropical Storm Isaac. (Bill Feig / AP)

Vitt, the team’s interim coach, said he told players to prepare to evacuate family members and that the Saints would probably leave Tuesday morning for Thursday night’s game against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. Players were given Monday off to take care of their families.

At the moment, Isaac is threatening to become a hurricane and make landfall along the Gulf Coast on Wednesday, the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The Saints, however, are taking no chances.

“It was our recommendation that [players] evacuate their families,” Vitt said (via Nola.com). “We will give the team off [Monday] so that they can further seek shelter for their families. Our players will be here at 8 o’clock on Tuesday, and at such time we’ll receive an update see where this weather’s taking us.

“If need be, we will have wheels up and go to Tennessee at 8 o’clock. We do have a contingency plan that we can evacuate [Monday]. Instead of going to Tennessee, we would go to Cincinnati and practice there. Those things have already been laid out. We wanted to give our players time to get their families out of town and to a safe place.”

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina turned the Saints into a vagabond team as the Category 3 storm, which decimated the city and caused more than 1,800 deaths, forced the Saints to relocate to San Antonio. With the SuperDome severely damaged, the team played home games there, in East Rutherford, N.J., and Baton Rouge.

In 2008, with Hurricane Gustav headed toward the area, the Saints evacuated to Indianapolis to prepare for their season-opener.

On Sunday, a hurricane warning was issued for the city and Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared a state of emergency. In addition, Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency for Louisiana and recommended evacuation of low-lying and coastal areas.

Follow us: @CindyBoren | @MattBrooksWP

More

Capital Weather Gang: All eyes on New Orleans, Isaac

Post-Katrina: New Orleans revels in relationship with Saints

From the archives: In 2005, Saints prepared to play entire season on the road

From the archives: In 2006, SuperDome reopens

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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